Art exhibit aimed at solving cold cases

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 26, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. —  Art is known for bringing about emotions and at the USF Art Of Forensics 2018 exhibit that is the hope.

Creators are hoping the public will recognize the faces on display and identify them. Each of the photos and sculptures are a recreation of a John Doe or Jane Doe with a family somewhere.

Since 2015, USF Forensic Anthropologist Erin Kimmerle, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and other partnering agencies have teamed up to recreate some of the unidentified persons cases around the nation.

According to Kimmerle, there are almost 1000 unidentified remains in Florida.

Through a service project run by Kimmerle, 110 open unidentified persons cases were reanalyzed and evaluated by current industry standards. Approximately 20 cases were selected from this, many from Florida, for the month-long display at the Tampa Bay History Center.

The team used various tools including isotope testing and DNA research to find where the unidentified person was likely from and put it all on display for the exhibit, along with clay and digital recreations of the individual.

“It’s actually this very large problem that unless you are touched by it, most of us don’t think about,” Dr. Erin Kimmerle said. “We tried to apply everything modern science and anthropology has to offer but to really solve these cases, we need to know who we are looking for.”

In years prior, the exhibit has led to the identification of missing persons on display. If you are missing a loved one, Kimmerle hopes you will visit the exhibit and examine the faces because you could help solve a case.

The exhibition runs now through November 27.